H&R Model 1900 Single Shot 12 Gauge


Dave Markowitz
September 23, 2013, 09:02 PM
I picked up this H&R Model 1900 single shot 12 gauge shotgun yesterday from a friend's neighbor for $60.


It's pretty crusty on the outside but mechanically sound. I probably paid a bit too much but since I bought it from a widow selling off some of her husband's guns, I don't care.

The Model 1900 has an interesting takedown mechanism. Unlike most top break singles, on this one you remove the pivot pin to remove the barrel from the action.


To remove the pin, with the action open, you open the toggle and rotate it 90 degrees, then pull it out.

From my online research, the Model 1900 was made by H&R from 1901 to 1915, so this gun is about a century old. I put a few low brass trap loads through it yesterday and POA = POI at 15 yards. I should have measured the chamber length first, but I didn't even think to do that until after getting home last night. I hadn't realized the gun was so old. Luckily, when I measured the chamber tonight I verified that it's 2-3/4", not 2-1/2" like some older shotguns.

When I got the gun I had thoughts of chopping the 30" barrel down to a handier length, but given its age and character, I've decided not to do that. Rather, I'm working on removing the surface rust and will refinish the wood after cleaning up the surface. I've got the wood removed and the metal soaking in Kroil. Using a copper brush and some fine steel wool, I've managed to get the worst of the rust and crud off the outside of the action without damaging the markings. I actually managed to uncover the patent date stamps, which are above the pivot pin but hidden in my pics above.

The barrel looks like someone took steel wool or a Scotchbrite pad to it at some point in the past. After I get the rust off I may refinish it with some Laurel Mountain Forge cold browning solution, to better match the action's patina.

I'll post follow up pics after I'm done.

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Dave Markowitz
September 26, 2013, 02:20 PM
I got the old gal cleaned up a bit today.

Here's the buttstock after I stripped of most of the old grime using steel wool and lacquer thinner. I had not worked on the wrist of the stock yet. The whole stock looked like the wrist.


The stock after cleaning and refinishing with three coats of dark walnut-tint Watco Danish Oil:


The wrist has a couple of cracks. I cleaned them out and flooded them with superglue. I'll see if this prevents further cracking. If not, I'll wrap the wrist with wire as you often see on old guns.


I was able to uncover the patent markings on the left side of the receiver, over the pivot pin.


I decided to try some Birchwood Casey cold blue on the barrel. I couldn't get a decent picture but it came out pretty good. The areas that had been scrubbed by a previous owner now blends in with the rest of the patina.

Now it looks like a well used century old gun, not a filthy century old gun. It's got character. I hope to get it out in the field this fall.

September 26, 2013, 03:27 PM
Wow. I would have been all over that, even for double that price.

September 27, 2013, 12:56 AM
Now that`s a good looking old shotgun !...................

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